Fatherhood has changed LTC (NS) Muhammad Rashid Ramli’s approach to life and leadership.
TEXT: KEENAN PEREIRA
PHOTOS: LTC (NS) MUHAMMAD RASHID RAMLI
Fatherhood is a milestone in life that can forever change your perspectives. For proof of this, look no further than LTC (NS) Muhammad Rashid Ramli. Although the 39-year-old has always wanted children, he was surprised at how his two sons — aged seven and two — have altered his leadership style.
As the Unit Commander of 14A Public Shelter and Resilience Unit (PSRU), LTC (NS) Rashid leads about 100 personnel to oversee the maintenance and management of public shelters. These personnel ensure that public shelters remain fully functional during national emergencies. “It’s a tough job and we expect a lot out of our personnel,” he says. “But now that I’m a father, I’m also more empathetic to their needs: As NSmen, we juggle various responsibilities such as work, family, and our NS commitments. It’s not easy and I want our men to be able to enjoy time with their loved ones, while doing their part for the country.” LTC (NS) Rashid demonstrates this empathy during his unit’s bi-annual recalls.
For LTC (NS) Rashid, time with his family is especially precious, given his grueling duties as an Airport Emergency Officer. Hisweek begins with two day shifts that last from 8am to 6pm, followed by two-night shifts that keep him working from 6pm to 8am, before he can have two days of rest. While emergencies at Singapore’s airports are rare, his team consistently trains and prepares for any crisis that may arise.
The long hours and tough trainings are challenging, admits LTC (NS) Rashid. “But it’s worth it — I get the same sense of purpose that I do from my NS role.” Therefore, he is fortunate that he could count on his wife, a homemaker, to help take care of their children. “Things at home would not be so smooth without her,” he shares. When he first met her nearly 10 years ago, he was drawn to the fact that she also cherished family life. “I grew up in a large family, so I’ve always looked forward to having my own family. Meeting my wife and realising that she shared the same views towards family really helped to seal the deal,” he adds with a laugh.
DUTY TO FAMILY AND COUNTRY
After a recent family visit to the Yishun Fire Station Open House, LTC (NS) Rashid saw how both his sons were fascinated by how a fire station was run. “They met firefighters and paramedics and learnt about how we deal with emergencies.” he elaborated.
Such outings are a regular fixture for the family, who try to spend as much time as they can together. Their favourite haunts are water theme parks, such as Wild Wild Wet and beaches, where they can enjoy each other’s company while staying active at the same time. “That’s important for my wife and I,” he reveals. “With two boys, there’s lots of running around, so we need to have the stamina to keep up with them!”
As Father’s Day has just passed, we asked LTC (NS) Rashid how he had celebrated the occasion. “For our family, every day is Father’s Day, Mother’s Day and Children’s Day,” he declares. “We don’t do anything special because we already make an effort to spend time together whenever we can.”
THREE CHEERS FOR DAD
Here are some unique ways to have fun with your Dad — whether you’re a father, son, or both!
Feel like a Masterchef with a cooking class. Dads usually have a ravenous appetite, so this is one way of spending time and enjoying a decent meal together. D’Open Kitchen offers halal cooking classes.
Give back to the community. There are plenty of causes that would benefit from an extra pair of hands. Find your calling and support a cause that’s close to your heart.
The Specialist Obstacle Course is a staple for NSmen but few would have done it with their dads. Try the next best thing together: a treetop obstacle course that pits you against your father — all in the name of good fun.
Like our stories? Subscribe to our Frontline Digital newsletters now! Simply download the HomeTeamNS Mobile App, and update your communication preference to ‘Receive Digital Frontline Magazine’, through the App Settings.